Hey gang! I miss you. When the forums went to this new format, I didn't bother registering, which made coming and posting a little bit more involved so I just...didn't. But I could use some "spiney" company right about now.
Because of rising health costs, I have to go back to an HMO this year (I had a PPO--priceless considering it meant skipping all the referral crap to get the surgery done before I had permanent nerve damage). Knowing an HMO would not want to give me an MRI without 1) symptoms, and 2) seeing a pain specialist (can't stand them! seen three, and none of them were any use), I self-referred to my neurosurgeon and requested a new MRI just to see how the dust has settled from my 12/20/08 microdiscectomy/laminotomy/foraminotomy. For those who weren't here at the time, this was the second time around on L5/S1. First surgery came after I gave birth and essentially shattered the disc (it was a MESS); this second time around, something triggered it again and the pain was far, FAR worse than the first time. It was horrible.
Anyway, the MRI shows some arthritis ("too young for this" he said--AUGH! I'm SICK of people telling me that!) on the facet joints at L5/S1 and L4/L5. There's also a bone spur (caused by arthritis) where the severe herniation had been. The nerve has some granulated tissue around it, which may explain why I still get painless spasms on the side of my left leg.
He was happy with the results, but I realized his "great progress" is my "still not better." I need to accept I will never be "normal," and knowing I have arthritis at 35 tells me it won't necessarily be better, ever. :<
The neuro seemed very pleased with my progress, but I'm not as I want...more. More normal, please.
There's more that I will probably be posting over in Matters of the Heart as I'm struggling emotionally. But at least I could come here and update you on how I am physically.